Spirit of Ecstacy, Racing Car Opera

1977, 24:00 min.
Åke Hodell
There are a number of excellent radio art works by Swedish radio artist Åke Hodell. Spirit of Ecstasy, Racing Car Opera is one that showcases his language play, his compositional use of repetition, and his left wing politics. The piece was commissioned by the Music Department of the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation and was performed as a live broadcast on April 25, 1977. In his twenties, Åke Hodell trained as a fighter pilot in the Swedish air force. In 1941, his plane crashed and he was forced to convalesce for two years, during which time he became an avid anti-militarist. Åke Hodell came from a family of actors and artists and found his way to writing and theater and soon was part of developing a hybrid practice now referred to as text-sound composition. Text-sound composition is a blend of radio play and musique concrete, and in Åke Hodell’s case, includes playful and politically pointed uses of language and sound. - Described by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2019/2020, Karen Werner.